Delaware officially announced it was transitioning to phase 1B today and will focus on people who are 65 and older.
More than 200,000 Delawareans qualify for vaccination in this phase, the state said in a press release. Residents will have multiple options be vaccinated will begin this week and options will expand to including large events with a new appointment request system.
Gov. John Carney and Dr. Karyl Rattay will talk about the changed Tuesday night in a 7 p.m. COVID-9 update and public question and answer session on the 1B vaccine rollout. Watch it on facebook.com/johncarneyde and livestream.com/stateofdelaware.
DPH, county EMS agencies, the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps and hospitals including Beebe Healthcare have scheduled five drive-through vaccination events for persons 65 and older, as well as for remaining Phase 1A personnel, on Friday, Jan, 22 at the Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles and on Saturday, Jan. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 24, at both the Delaware City and Georgetown DMV locations. The Delaware City DMV will close at noon on Friday to accommodate the vaccination event.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
These vaccination events are by appointment only. Delawareans who are 65 or older can register at de.gov/covidvaccine. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan.
“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable Delawareans from COVID-19,” Carney said in a press release. “Our goal is to get as many Delawareans vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible. That’s how we’ll beat this virus, get back to normal, and rebuild. The reality is that will take some time and some patience, so in the meantime, let’s do what works. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Avoid gatherings. Stay vigilant.”
Rattay asked for patience.
“With limited resources, there will be some attention within Phase 1B based on the risk factors we know, and the focus will be – especially in the first large vaccination events – on those 65 and over,” she said in the release. “We are looking forward to growing our vaccine options in the coming weeks to give people statewide multiple options for COVID-19 vaccination, as they now have for COVID-19 testing or flu shots.”Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
Phase 1B includes all individuals 65 and over, and frontline essential workers including: fire, police, correctional officers, teachers and education staff (including child care providers), U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and grocery store workers. Efforts will continue to vaccinate phase 1A health care personnel and nursing home residents and staff.
Officials say the pace of vaccinations will depend partly on how much vaccine the state gets. They said it could take weeks or months for all 200,000 phase 1B eligible individuals to be vaccinated.
Some of the options include.
- K-12 educators: This week, the Department of Education will be announce educators and school staff. Starting Jan. 25, it partnering with Acme/Safeway pharmacies to host vaccination events for educators at school sites and to allow educators to be vaccinated at Acme/Safeway pharmacy locations.
- Child care workers: The DOE’s Office of Child Care Licensing will offer options similar to the K-12 educators and staff, starting the week of Jan. 25.
- Correctional officers: The Department of Correction began receiving vaccine earlier this month. Officers performing 1A functions have been offered vaccine, as have a small number of inmates and officers over the age of 65 with serious medical conditions. DOC will continue its program based on age and health condition.
- Other frontline essential workers: DPH and the Division of Small Business are planning vaccinations. Information will be released soon to help employers who want to host their own vaccination events or want employees to be vaccinated elsewhere. Questions from frontline employers should go to Covid19faq@delaware.gov.
- Pharmacies: A list of pharmacies taking COVID-19 vaccine appointments will be available at de.gov/covidvaccine starting the week of Jan. 25. The list will grow. Pharmacies are expected to be a primary choice for vaccinations as more vaccine becomes available, but they will have limited doses in the early part of the effort. Pharmacies are asked to limit their efforts 1A and 1B now.
- Primary care providers: Vaccines will be available to those 65 and over from some primary care and specialty care providers, including urgent care sites and federal health centers. Some will contact their own patients to offer appointments and others may invite the public. Medical providers who wish to vaccinate individuals must enroll in the state’s immunization system by going to the Medical Provider page of de.gov/covidvaccine.
The registration system currently for Delawareans ages 65 and older will have the following steps: (1) An individual will request an appointment at de.gov/covidvaccine which will put them on a waiting list and (2) when appointments become available, invitation emails will be sent to individuals to schedule an appointment online for an upcoming event.
These invitations will be unique and cannot be shared.
Seniors with computer access are advised to request an appointment through this online system, which will be available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.
For seniors without computer access only, a phone line will be announced Wednesday to take requests for an appointment and, as slots become available, to help complete the appointment process.
In the foreseeable future, DPH expects more requests for vaccination event appointments than doses and slots available. Invitations will go out based on age, medical condition and other risk factors. Those who don’t get an appointment will continue to be on the waiting list for vaccination events. Multiple requests will not increase the chance of receiving an invitation.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
Any individuals who arrive without an appointment for this weekend’s events should not expect to be vaccinated. In the next few weeks, additional large-scale vaccination venues are expected to be brought online to vaccinate Phase 1B individuals and future phase groups.
The appointment system will be used for individuals in future phases.
Those who receive appointments for vaccination events are reminded to please dress in appropriate clothing so that your upper arm can be exposed without having to get out of the vehicle at a drive-through event to remove a coat or shirt.
Also, if someone has received a flu, shingles or other vaccination recently, they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days of the prior vaccination. The same applies to anyone who has been on steroids or given a shot of steroids recently.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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